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Analysis of Governor Malloy's October 16 Revised Budget Proposal

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Yesterday, Governor Dannel Malloy released his fourth budget proposal for the FY 2018-FY 2019 biennium. Included in this budget proposal were several changes to the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula and state education funding.

In an effort to provide useful information for policymakers, educators, community leaders, and all individuals interested in how Connecticut funds its public schools, the Connecticut School Finance Project has prepared an independent analysis examining the governor's latest proposed school funding changes. The analysis is available at http://ctschoolfinance.org/assets/uploads/files/Formula-Analysis-Governors-October-Budget.pdf.

The analysis details the components and characteristics of the governor's proposed changes. The analysis also examines the formula based on a series of equity metrics and includes a town-by-town list of estimated ECS funding per pupil under the governor's revised proposal, as well as a town-by-town list of estimated local contributions to the Teachers' Retirement System under the governor's revised proposed budget.

Note: This latest budget proposal from the governor is a full two-year budget proposal and not a revised executive order resource allocation plan. The State is currently operating under the Governor’s Revised Executive Order Resource Allocation Plan (issued on August 18) due to the lack of a state budget. As we have previously noted, the Revised Executive Order Resource Allocation Plan is meant to be a temporary measure and only covers FY 2018. At any time, the legislature can pass a budget, which, when signed by the governor, would supersede the Revised Executive Order Resource Allocation Plan.

While the governor’s latest proposal incorporates some of the elements that are key to establishing a fair and equitable school funding formula for Connecticut — such as the inclusion of an English Learner weight and a more balanced measure of property wealth and income wealth — it does not provide solutions to several critical issues.

For example, the governor’s revised proposal does not separate special education funding from the foundation amount of the ECS grant, resulting in ongoing issues with meeting the maintenance of support requirement under IDEA. Additionally, the revised proposal does not take steps to deal with the fact that Connecticut uses more than 10 different funding formulas to fund students who attend different types of public schools.

With the release of the governor’s latest budget proposal, the Connecticut School Finance Project has also updated two documents:

These documents compare the three most recent school finance proposals side-by-side and detail how each proposal would distribute state education funding. Like all of our analyses from the regular and special legislative sessions, each of these documents can be found under the Funding Formula Analyses tab of our website at http://ctschoolfinance.org/formula-analyses.

We hope you find this analysis of the governor's October 16th revised proposed school finance changes helpful. Should you have any questions or comments regarding the analysis, please email us at info@ctschoolfinance.org.